The Delhi government has informed the High Court that the report by an expert committee to use two luxurious hotels here as extended COVID-19 facilities was “acceptable”.
Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Jain, appearing for the government, said: “The report submitted by the committee is acceptable to the government. All steps indicated therein shall be taken by the government before putting the hotels in question into operation as Covid-19 hospitals”.
The committee of doctors said Hotel Crown Plaza, Okhla and Hotel Surya, New Friends Colony, was infrastructurally feasible to be used as extended COVID-19 hospitals. The committee said the banquet halls in these hotels can be properly equipped and converted into dedicated COVID-19 health centres if there is a shortage of beds in Delhi.
The court had last week formed the committee comprising Randeep Guleria, Director, AIIMS and V.K. Paul, Member of the Niti Aayog, to visit the two hotels and give their report. It was hearing separate petitions by the two hotels, challenging the government’s decision.
The hotels had contended that the presence of air conditioning, the lack of large lifts which are capable of being used for stretchers, lack of bio-waste disposal, and the measure to safeguard the hotel workforce as reasons against converting them as extended COVID-19 hospitals.
Mr. Jain had argued that these apprehensions are unfounded and looking into the grave nature of the situation that has arisen because of the pandemic, certain drastic measures, including the decision to convert the hotels to COVID-19 hospitals, was taken.